• Pam Saxby


Updated: Sep 16

I love animals ... I really do ... But the reason I didn't report in February on proposed amendments to the list of furry and not-so-furry (or feathered) wild critters falling under the Meat Safety Act is that most species about to be added are killed anyway, in large numbers. This is a developing country with lots of poor, often-hungry people - many of whom are forced to resort to hunting and slaughtering wild (and not-so-wild) creatures for food or money. Which is basically why so much of our wildlife is dwindling to the point of being endangered.

By adding more species to the list, the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform will empower the authorities to enforce compliance with standards imposed by the Act and its regulations when these animals are slaughtered. That includes ‘animal welfare requirements’, as a media statement issued in April confirmed. Not that 'Dear South Africa' bothered to report that during its campaign to stop ‘meat from endangered species' being 'added to the list of animals allowed to be slaughtered, consumed and traded’.

Established to give ordinary citizens a say in the law-making process, 'Dear South Africa' would have strengthened its argument on this emotive issue (and might even have enhanced its credibility) if - before launching the campaign - one of its volunteers had taken time to look at the Act and regulations. Who knows if ‘more than 45 000’ would have ‘reacted’ as they did (at least, according to the website) if they'd been given the full picture? At least they would have known enough about the law to make an informed decision.

So, this is what I wrote (apologies for the split image, but screenshots apparently have some limitations):


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